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Published: Thursday, 5/24/2012

Negative Mandel ad repeats false claims, Brown's camp says


Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel turned negative in his newest TV commercial against Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday, bringing angry denunciations of using false claims from the Brown camp.

Using grainy black-and-white images, the commercial accuses Mr. Brown of going negative in his own TV advertising because he's hiding something.

That something, according to the ad, is that he "bailed out Wall Street, gave huge bonuses to executives, sent billions of our tax dollars overseas, and cast the deciding vote on the government takeover of health care."

The ad then shifts to color and strikes an uplifting tone to show Mr. Mandel in his Marine uniform in Iraq and extols his service in office.

The Brown campaign ripped the ad as repeating statements that were already proven false or misleading.

For example, the claim focuses on a news report that stimulus funds were spent on a wind farm in China. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's PolitiFact program said no money actually went to China, the Brown campaign pointed out.

To the claim about the $700 billion financial crisis bailout, which was also supported by Republicans, the Brown campaign said Senator Brown introduced legislation to tax the bonuses of executives with companies that received federal funds.

Sadie Weiner, spokesman of Friends of Sherrod Brown, noted the start of an FBI probe into campaign contributions made to Mr. Mandel.

"Mandel is desperate to distract from the unqualified cronies he hired in the treasurer's office, his record of ignoring his job to raise money, and the FBI investigation he's connected to for $100,000 in questionable campaign cash that he accepted," Ms. Weiner said.

The FBI is looking into $200,000 in campaign contributions from a northern Ohio businessman and his employees to U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R., Wadsworth) and Mr. Mandel.

Contributions of $5,000 came from the company's employees and some of their spouses even though many had homes and job titles that did not indicate lavish incomes.

Contact Tom Troy at: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058.

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